Swat-style raid over tea leaves headed to court

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WICHITA, Kan. (AP) – A federal trial that begins Monday will focus on whether police lied about the results of tests on discarded tea leaves found in a Kansas couple’s trash to get permission for a SWAT-style raid on their home.

Robert and Adlynn Harte are seeking $5 million for economic losses plus emotional pain, distress and humiliation after a 2012 raid on their Leawood home. They are also seeking $2 million in punitive damages.

Authorities targeted the Hartes, both former CIA employees, after seeing Robert Harte leaving a store that sold hydroponic gardening equipment. Johnson County sheriff’s deputies found brewed tea leaves outside their home. An affidavit claimed field tests indicated the leaves were marijuana. A search of the home found only vegetable plants. The Hartes say law enforcement lied about the test results.

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